Why are my fingers numb?

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Finger numbness refers to a loss of feeling or sensitivity in your fingers, and there can be a number of reasons why this happens. Let’s take a closer look:

If you’ve noticed a partial or even a total loss of sensitivity and feeling in your fingers, there are a lot of possible causes that could be the reason for it. In some cases, it may be completely harmless and go away on its own, but if the problem persists, you should see your doctor to help understand what may be causing it.


What causes numb fingers? 

Various conditions, such as pinched or injured nerves, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve damage through alcohol use, fibromyalgia, or carpal tunnel syndrome, can cause numb fingertips.

Finger numbness is one of the main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in which the median nerve that runs from your forearm to your hand becomes compressed around the narrow passageway at the wrist, which is called the carpal tunnel. 

If you’re wondering how to get rid of numbness in your fingers, you will have to see a doctor first to determine the cause of your numb fingers. 


Why does carpal tunnel syndrome cause numbness in fingers?

There are several reasons why symptoms, such as numb fingertips, occur with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and a range of factors can increase the risk of it developing. These may include: 

  • Repetitive movements – Any strenuous and repetitive activities that solely involve the hands, wrists or fingers can trigger CTS over time, such as scrolling on your phone, typing, or even holding a device as you play games.
  • Occupation – Those with jobs that involve moving your hands repeatedly are at higher risk of developing CTS, such as those in office jobs or those working in construction or engineering.
  • Medical condition – Certain medical issues and conditions can cause inflammation that affects the tendons around the wrist, such as arthritis or diabetes.
  • Hormonal changes – Sometimes, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause cause fluid retention. If this fluid builds up in or around the wrist, it can cause swelling, which may compress the meridian nerve.
  • Previous injuries to the wrist can increase your chances of developing CTS.
  • Genetics – a family history of carpal tunnel syndrome may mean you have a high chance of developing it.


How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can sometimes resolve itself over time, but if it becomes a major issue for you and impacts your daily life, you can do things to help reduce pain and relieve numbness in your fingers. These may include:

  • Wearing a wrist splint – This will help to keep the wrist straight and reduce pressure on the meridian nerve. Wear it at night as you sleep for at least four weeks to see improvement.
  • Painkillers – If the condition is causing you pain, taking painkillers will reduce this and help you go about your days as normal.
  • Hand exercises – Hand exercises may help to ease your symptoms and help to relieve the pressure on the nerve in your wrist and the feeling of numbness in your fingertips.
  • Try to cut down on things that trigger CTS, such as excessive scrolling on your phone or typing.


Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome at Ramsay Health Care

If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, we can help. 

We aim to offer you the best care at one of our local hospitals and have experienced orthopaedic surgeons who are specialists in treating hand and wrist conditions.

Contact us today to learn more about carpal tunnel treatment options available at your nearest Ramsay hospital

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